Three Questions to Size-Up Learning Objectives for the Virtual Classroom

May 10, 2017 10:00 by Dana Peters

There are so many options when it comes to training delivery methods for your employee learning programs. How do you know when virtual instructor-led training (vILT) is the right fit?

To help decide, you need to determine if vILT will meet some of your learning objectives.

Notice I said some, not all. This is because usually one delivery method will not get the entire job done. It makes sense that you want your chosen delivery method to meet a healthy portion of your learning objectives, but a blended learning approach is probably going to be the most effective. A strategy that combines a blend of learning opportunities that work together to comprehensively meet all the learning objectives is often the recipe for success.

But let’s get back to the question…how do you know if virtual instructor-led training is the right fit for some of your learning objectives?

When working on learning design solutions for clients, we ask ourselves the following three questions to confirm whether or not vILT will meet each of the learning objectives.

  1. Do the learners need each other for learning to happen?
  2. Do the learners need to be in the same place, at the same time, to learn from each other?
  3. Will learners be able to demonstrate achievement of the stated learning objective in the virtual classroom?

Let’s look at an easy example of these questions in action.

Goal Statement

Bicycles are a popular mode of transportation in our community. The purpose of this course is to reduce accidents involving bikes by promoting the practice of bicycle safety amongst our bike riders.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, participants should be able to:

  1. Explain the rules of the road
  2. Identify common bicycling hazards
  3. Determine ways to reduce the risk of crash, injury, or death
  4. Recommend appropriate safety gear
  5. Ride a bike safely

Now let’s evaluate each of these objectives against our three questions.

As you can see by our example:

  • We answered “yes” to 8 out of the 15 questions (more than 50%).
  • Only one of the learning objectives would be completely addressed exclusively through vILT. (#3 - Determine ways to reduce risk of crash, injury, or death.) Considering the learning goal statement, it is an important one.
  • The response to “Will learners be able to demonstrate achievement of the stated learning objective in the virtual classroom?” is a “yes” on four out of the five learning objectives.
  • Two out of the five learning objectives require learners to be in the same place, at the same time.

All and all, this is a prime example of the need for a blended learning approach. vILT would be a viable option in combination with other pre-session and post session exercises, readings, knowledge checks, assignments, and partner work on the road.

Hopefully, these three questions serve as yet another tool to help you evaluate the role the vILT plays in meeting your organization’s learning needs.

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